Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The Merits of Mint

Mint is a fragrant leaf that is rich in Vitamin A and C. It adds a beautiful scent and flavor to a watermelon salad and traditionally it can be finely chopped, added to vinegar and used as a sauce for succulent lamb dishes. One of my favorite dishes when I was growing up was,"Minted Peas."

Mint aids digestion and mint tea is recommended to relieve gas. This unassuming leaf has antioxidant properties and has been used for natural relief of congestion due to colds and chest congestion. In addition it can be used to ease nasal allergies. Mint tea can also help reduce the effects of headaches.

Be warned that if you have mint in your garden, it can become rather invasive. When I cut my lawn, I can smell the wonderful fragrance as I mow, since it has made its way into my lawn. The best advice I have been given is to limit my mint plants to containers and so that is what I have done.

Mint, in addition to making a refreshing addition to unsweetened iced tea, makes a wonderful addition to my Smoothies. Particularly if you are having Kale in your smoothie which can sometimes taste a little bitter. The bitterness in Kale comes from the fact that the plant has been grown in a climate that is too hot. If you get Kale in Fall or in Spring, it will not have that bitter taste. 

Mint makes a beautiful garnish for desserts. Before I kicked the Sugar habit, I used to paint the mint leaves with chocolate, allow the chocolate to set and then peal these "chocolate leaves" off the actual leaf and use them as a mint flavored garnish. Mint is often used to combat bad breathe and it is also known as a cleanser for the blood. There are many more virtues for this little, fragrant leaf and if you have it in your garden, you may want to pick it, wash it and dry it for use in the winter. If you prefer you can chop up some mint leaves and put them in an ice tray, cover with boiled water that has been cooled and you have minted ice cubes which are great to use in iced tea or with orange juice or just to add zing to your sparkling water.

I recently tried this RAW FOOD recipe which included fresh mint leaves from my garden and my daughter who does not love eating bananas, loved this. My kids gave it a thumbs up and this is from my daughter who does not usually like bananas. Of course I can never stick to a recipe 100 % so I added a drizzle of coconut oil to get the banana's started in the food processor and instead of chocolate chips I chopped in some unsweetened chocolate. 

The original recipe is from a book by Natalia Rose.

Banana Mint
By Natalia Rose

Note: Combines with a raw, avocado-based meal and a raw-nut-based meal or after a fresh fruit meal.

Mint lovers will dreamily scoop up this creamy, cold mint ice cream!

Makes 2 servings
3 medium or large frozen bananas cut into thirds
1 teaspoon chopped fresh, mint leaves
Organic chocolate chips (optional)

In a food processor, mix the bananas and the mint together and serve. Top with or mix in your favourite organic chocolate chips for a " Mint Chip" version.

Disclaimer: I have not read the book, but I extracted this dessert from it to try. "Sugar free" being my mandate and all, it caught my eye.

For more MINT facts click here.

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